How Wawa gained 2.6M social media followers

LAS VEGAS — Wawa has stepped up its social media technique in recent times, and within the course of has gained 2.6 million followers and a pair of.5 million month-to-month engagements throughout all of its platforms.

The corporate has gotten there by providing a variety of lighthearted content material on its varied channels, together with TikTok and Instagram. It’s run a video series that includes two beefcakes handing out $100 present playing cards to advertise its annual HoagieFest, and featured videos teasing drink specials aligned to buyers’ astrological indicators.

One put up commiserating with individuals who have moved to a spot and not using a Wawa retailer garnered greater than 4,000 likes.

In keeping with Ariel Norwood, senior director of promoting engagement with Bounteous, the advertising and marketing firm that manages Wawa’s social media technique, the comfort retailer chain is seeking to drive consciousness and loyalty by assembly younger digitally savvy buyers on their phrases and by channeling their enthusiasm for the model.

“Our customers get engaged in Wawa, they get married in Wawa, they’ve particular photoshoots in Wawa. … And as you may think about, that is nice for social media,” she stated throughout an academic session on the NACS Present on Sunday.

Wawa’s social media staff tries to create content material that falls into three classes: relatable content material, academic content material and content material that gives incentives and promotions. One fashionable giveaway put up requested buyers to enter for an opportunity to win a summer time highway journey getaway, with all provisions supplied by Wawa. The three-part video matching drinks to individuals’s astrological indicators, in the meantime, prompted individuals to repeat those self same orders in shops, Norwood stated. 

The social media staff typically makes scrappy, on-the-fly content material that includes expertise that’s shut at hand — like a Bounteous social media supervisor, who appeared in a single latest fashionable video.

“We have a tendency to make use of individuals who work for us typically because the face of the model in social media as a result of it’s actually robust to trace down fashions,” she stated.

The staff additionally takes care to schedule loads of content material upfront and to construct metadata into every put up to allow them to observe the recognition of assorted subjects and varieties of posts over time.

Just a few campaigns have managed to considerably transfer the needle on Wawa’s social following. Wawa signed up for a beta model of TikTok advertisements for manufacturers, funneled a few of its hottest social content material into this system and over a 12 months’s time noticed the variety of followers enhance greater than 1,800%. The chain at the moment has greater than 500,000 followers on the favored platform.

This summer time, to have fun the return of its HoagieFest, which provides offers on the favored sandwich in shops, Wawa created 4,000 NFTs, or nonfungible tokens, and gave them away to workers and buyers. The transfer grew Wawa’s social media following by 75,000 in a single month.

Ariel Norwood, senior director of promoting engagement with Bounteous, which manages Wawa’s social media technique.

Jeff Wells/C-Retailer


Norwood, who used to handle social media accounts for Entire Meals Market, inspired attendees to consider what units their model aside, and what shopper need it will probably fulfill, as a part of crafting a social media technique. Develop an enticing, distinctive voice that displays the model and is approachable to digitally savvy customers, and ensure to measure outcomes with a view to additional hone content material and inform the enterprise technique.

She beneficial operators new to social media give attention to getting one channel proper, after which scale up from there. She burdened that c-store operators ought to focus extra on partaking customers than on build up followers.

“I’d argue {that a} model with a extremely engaged fanbase with 50,000 followers has a very robust social media program, even when they do not have a big following,” she stated.

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